I am back from spending 36 hours in Poland and the trip was both productive and a blast. I tried borscht, perogies and surprisingly found the equivalent of a bagel in a grocery store. The bagel find was quite significant in my books.
Photo Source: Simply Recipes
My Bagel Story: On our way back to Prague, we stopped into Carrefour to pick up up some groceries and grab a quick snack. If you are a consistent reader of Lamb411, you have hopefully caught on to the fact that I have a thing for grocery stores in foreign cities and tend to frequent at least one grocery store per trip.
Now, the last time I set foot in a Carrefour must have been when I was living in China in 2007, so my memory of my in-store experience may be a bit fuzzy. I would describe my Carrefour experience in Poland as the following: Imagine that Nestle, Gillette, Proctor and Gamble, Unilever and a couple random Polish brands got together to create a grocery store. At least 75% of the packaged goods in the store were from multinational CPG brands. It was like I was in a bizzaro world or something. I was dumbfounded that the experience of shopping in Carrefour was no different than walking into an American grocery store- well except it was a little more disorganized and disheveled looking when it comes to merchandise- and it had smaller aisles.
In the baked goods section, I select what looks like a series of dinner rolls stuck together in the shape of a flower (six rolls with one in the centre), for my snack. It was the kind of roll where each ball is a different flavour. I had zero expectations that this would be remotely satisfying and wait until I am back in the car to dig in. I tear off a ball and take a bite…
What do I discover? I swear I had a bagel in my mouth from Toronto’s What a Bagel. It was soft, doughy, chewy and had poppy seeds. The taste profile was an identical match to a North American bagel. It was then after eating another roll that I was convinced the recipe must have come from Poland.
Photo Source: 1
All this time, I thought bagels were a New York invention, although some Montrealers may argue otherwise.
My curiosity led me to do a quick fact check, (there is even a book on the history of the bagel) and low and behold my suspicions were confirmed. Bagels came to North America by way of Poland!! They are a Polish invention.
If I had cream cheese and lox on me I would have turned my flower shaped dinner roll-bagel-in-hiding-snack into a mini brunch in the car.
Happy Thanksgiving (or long weekend) to Canada. You would be proud, we made a turkey breast for two. Actually, my husband made the turkey breast and found a neat beer-spiced rubbed recipe, which we will feast on tomorrow night. Who said you could not combine Canadian and Czech culinary traditions!